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2014年7月31日 (木)

軽減税率 家計と活字文化を支えたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Consumption tax hike should not hurt household budgets, reading culture
軽減税率 家計と活字文化を支えたい

A planned increase in the consumption tax rate must not weigh too heavily on ordinary household budgets, which would lead to an economic slowdown.
 消費増税が家計に過大な負担となり、景気を失速させてはならない。

We believe if the tax rate is raised to 10 percent in October 2015, as initially planned, a lower rate should be applied to daily necessities, such as food products and newspapers.
 2015年10月に消費税率を10%へ引き上げる場合には、食料品や新聞など必需品の税率を低く抑える軽減税率を導入すべきだ。

A council, comprising members of the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, is hearing the opinions of close to 50 organizations, including various industrial associations, regarding the pros and cons of adopting a lower rate.
 自民、公明両党の与党税制協議会は軽減税率への賛否に関し、各種業界など50近い団体からのヒアリングを進めている。

The Japan Newspapers Publishers and Editors Association told the council that a consumption tax rate increase to 10 percent should be accompanied by a measure to lower the rate to 5 percent for newspapers, books and other essential commodities.
 このうち日本新聞協会は、消費税率を10%に引き上げると同時に、新聞や書籍などに5%の軽減税率を適用するよう求めた。

In its reasoning, the association told the LDP-Komeito panel, “Newspapers are not mere consumer items but public goods that can form the basis of people’s knowledge.” The association emphasized the need to “protect an environment in which low-income earners, residents of provincial areas and any other person can enjoy equality in affording to purchase [newspapers].”
 その理由として、「新聞は単なる消費財ではなく、国民の知識の根幹をなす公的な財であり、低所得者や地方居住者も等しく購読できる環境を守る必要がある」などと説明した。

Newspapers are tasked with reporting on a wide range of news while also conveying a diversity of opinions to the public. Therefore, newspapers can be described as an essential tool for nurturing a cultural climate for reading printed matter and preserving a cornerstone of a democratic society.
 新聞は、広範なニュースや多様な意見を国民に提供する。活字文化の発展と民主主義社会の基盤を守る、重要な必需品と言える。

During the hearings, consumers and some organizations said they supported a proposal to adopt a consumption tax rate lower than 10 percent for daily necessities.
 ヒアリングでは、消費者団体などからも、軽減税率の導入を支持する声が上がった。

The National Liaison Committee of Consumers’ Organizations urged the ruling parties to implement measures aimed at easing the financial burdens to be shouldered by consumers when the tax rate is increased, including a lower rate for food products. “Though the economy is said to be recovering, consumers are finding it difficult to truly feel” a return to prosperity, the committee told the council.
 全国消費者団体連絡会は、「景気は回復基調にあるというが、消費者の実感は厳しい」と指摘し、食料品に対する軽減税率など、負担軽減策の実施を要望した。

This opinion was echoed by the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, which told the panel it would be desirable to introduce a lower rate for farm products and processed goods.
 全国農業協同組合中央会も、農産品とその加工品も含め軽減税率の適用が望ましいとした。

Objections to lower rate

Meanwhile, the Japan Business Federation and many distributor associations raised objections to the adoption of a lower tax rate, citing an anticipated increase in business procedures that will accrue from the introduction of a mitigated tax rate.
 一方、経団連や流通業界団体の多くが、企業の事務負担増などを理由に導入反対を表明した。

These organizations defended their stance in saying it would be difficult to form a consensus regarding what kind of item should be covered in a lower tax rate. They said the problem would be further complicated in keeping accounts and paying taxes if there is more than one consumption tax rate.
 どの品目に軽減税率を適用するかの「線引き」が難しいうえに、複数の消費税率が混在すると、帳簿の作成や納税の手間が煩雑になると訴えた。

There is no doubt that the introduction of more than one tax rate will entail an increase in pertinent business procedures. In most European nations, however, lower rates have long been applied to food, newspapers and other daily necessities under their value-added tax systems, equivalent to our nation’s consumption tax.
 事務手続きが増すのは確かだが、欧州のほとんどの国では長年にわたり、日本の消費税にあたる付加価値税で、食料品や新聞に軽減税率を適用している。

We hope the government and private-sector organizations will study precedents overseas and then join hands to work out efficient procedures for consumption tax-related payments.
 海外の先行事例に学び、効率的な納税事務の在り方について、官民で知恵を絞ってもらいたい。

To ensure that the tax rate hike from 5 percent to 8 percent in April worked smoothly, the government decided to pay low-income earners benefits. However, there will be a limit to what one-time benefits can achieve in underpinning consumer spending.
 政府は今年4月に消費税率を5%から8%としたのにあわせて、低所得者への給付金支給を決めたが、1回限りの給付では消費下支えの効果は限られよう。

We believe the introduction of a lower rate for daily necessities will lessen the impact of the tax hike on consumers, while also reducing the risk of a slump in consumption. Whenever consumers buy daily necessities, they may actually feel they are benefiting from such a tax plan.
 消費者の負担感を和らげ、消費低迷のリスクを抑えるには、買い物のたびに恩恵を実感できる軽減税率の方が効果的である。

The Finance Ministry has released an estimate regarding a loss of revenue to be accrued from a lower tax rate set on a certain category of commodities. If a reduction of one percentage point is applied to “all beverages and food products” at the time of the tax rate hike to 10 percent next year, it will likely result in a loss of ¥660 billion annually, according to the ministry.
 財務省は「全ての飲食料品」の税率を1%軽減すると、消費税収は年6600億円減るとの試算を示している。

Caution should be exercised in determining what kinds of items should be eligible for a lower tax rate, with due consideration given to a balance between the need to secure revenues for the social security system and to ease the burden on household finances.
社会保障の財源確保と家計負担のバランスを考え、対象品目を慎重に検討すべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 30, 2014)

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